Essay on Paganism
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, you were either Baptist or Methodist. Sure there were other denominations, but these were the two that dominated the culture. You never heard Pagan mentioned. You were a "Witch". Path? No one talked about a path, unless they said you were on a "path to hell." The word "Witch" was all encompassing. Voodoo = Witch, Wiccan = Witch, etc. Also, "Witch" and "Satanist" went hand in hand. It was a culture based on ignorance. Unfortunately, one I was stuck with.
I have always felt different and more inquisitive about faith and what makes us who we are. I found myself thrown out of more than one house as a teen when I questioned the Christian ideal. I would point out the similarities Christianity to that of Greek and Roman mythology, having no idea that there were many other parallels out there.
Now that I have grown and discovered a new path for myself and still need to quench my thirst for knowledge, I wanted to strengthen my wisdom of Paganism so I can work to teach and overcome the ignorance and bigotry that still exists. Each one of the lessons in "Paganism for a New Age" served to enlighten me and make my want for knowledge even stronger. I found myself excited each week when the lesson would arrive and give me more insight into Pagan beliefs. Is it all encompassing, no. How could it be? Not a 20 week lesson, or a 20 year lesson can wholly cover everything in Paganism, How many thousand years has it been since man came from the Earth and we are still ignorant to what is there. As a Minister, but mostly as a human we should never stop leaning and striving for enlightenment.
I myself did not want to write this essay when I completed the course until I felt it was time. During the time that followed I have moved to a new state, been diagnosed with diabetes, had and overcame financial difficulties, and many other things that we all face day to day. Through all that I have been true to myself and still desire to learn. I have promoted and been a part of Pagan Pride Day events, I have spoken to many groups about Paganism and I am part of a nature based group close to my home. This course was a part of making me a better person and definitely a wiser one.
by Rev. Glenn Brooks
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